Monday, February 10, 2014

Secret Valentine's Exchange Gifts

   This year I participated in a Secret Valentine's exchange. It's like a Secret Santa but if you aren't familiar with that, you basically get someone randomly assigned to you and someone else randomly gets you assigned to them. That way you know who you are gifting, but they don't know who's gifting them and you don't know who is gifting you.

   The lady I was assigned to is a member of GodsGirls, which is like Suicide Girls. It's a softcore "nudie" website who primarily focuses on women with alternative style.

   I wasn't sure what to make her at first. But I looked at her Amazon wishlist, I asked the coordinator for the exchange to have her pick out a couple favourite images from her GodsGirls sets, and I came up with three gifts for her.

   The one I like the most is a kitty hat! She had a similar one on her wishlist but it had terribly amazon reviews, so I made her one myself! That way I also got to make it in her favourite colour, mint green. ;D

    I made it using a super simple pattern on ravelry. It's just a big rectangle! So easy! It turned out very cute though, I know sometime in the future I will be making one for myself! I just used Simply Soft yarn.

   I want to start trying out nicer yarns. I am still fairly new to knitting and crocheting, so I didn't want to invest in nicer, more expensive yarn back in September when I learned to crochet. I stopped buying new yarn in December, except when there is a project I started that ran out of yarn and I just have to finish it! I am working on getting the current amount of yarn I have down to half before buying more. But I'm definitely gonna be a bit more choosey then.

   The second gift finally got my light-reactive dyes some more attention. I haven't used them for a while, since before I started this blog at least. They are really awesome, I even included a video about it below because I think people need to check it out. I got the kit that had the three colours they offered when they were pretty much brand new, but I believe now there are a lot more colours to get so I wish I waited a little while. I like the original red, orange, and blue but I would have rather substituted one for black, or purple, etc.

    Here are some photos of the shirt I made for the exchange using my Inkodye. It didn't turn out quite as bright as I thought it would, the dyes are over a year old and that may be why. It may be time to replace them with some new colours, anyways. ;P


    I took one of the images she sent me from her favourite GodsGirls photosets and in photoshop, erased as much of the background distractions as I thought was needed. I pumped up the contrast, vectorized the image, and inverted it to use as a digital negative. I had it printed as a local print shop, which only cost $3. And that print will last pretty much forever, even though I don't think I'll be reusing it any time soon.

    I left the print in the sunlight from my crafting room window pretty much all day, so it turned out as bright as it was going to. I could have done with brighter though. It seems my red dye (the top half of the shirt) has turned to more of a pink. It used to actually come out red. The contrast in these images is turned up a bit because I wanted the design to be clearly visible, I have a photo below that is more representative of what the shirt really looks like.

   The last part of the gift package I sent was a little art print, it was very simple to make but I thought she might like it, I just photoshopped out the background, did a little colour adjusting, added some mosaic pixels and her name on GodsGirls in mint, again! 

   Well, that's the package I sent for my part of the gift exchange. I can't wait to receive mine! I was going to wait to post these until she told me she received them, but I have tracking on her package and I know she got them (just no message yet) and I'm impatient so I'm just posting them now.

   Are you making some sweet, handmade gifts for Valentine's this year? What have you made for the holidays so far? I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Long time! I'm still here!

    I have not blogged my last handful of crafting accomplishments, gosh! So slow! Most have been knitting and there's a couple of things I'm not ready to share yet (as they are gifts), but here's two items I am so happy about and proud of!

   I posted these photos to Flickr as well, if you want to follow me there. :P

   The first project, my knit bandana cowl, I started on the 17th and finished a couple days later, but that's just for this attempt. I attempted this same cowl three times until I realized I was reading the instructions wrong and that's why it kept coming out absolutely humongous.

   I am so in love with this cowl and wear it almost every time I go out! It doesn't help that I really don't have a collection of neck warming accessories, but I still just adore it. The pattern is Purl Bee's Bandana Cowl and the yarn is just some cheapo Simply Soft that I picked up at Walmart to use as props for my Christmas kitty portraits.


    Since I began knitting and crocheting, I have not been showing enough love to my first crafting obsession, sewing. But a couple days ago I started (and finished) a new pair of blue jeans. And I am so, so please! Not only are they the best I've made yet, but they were the fastest to work up as well!

    I think the reason these turned out so pleasant to make and lovely to wear is that these are the first pair of jeans I made a muslin for. All the rest I got the size closest to what I wanted from the pattern and worked them down to the size I wanted all on the finished piece. This time I found out exactly the size I wanted to be working with first before I even touched my denim fabric and I am so glad I did!

    This is still Butterick's B5682 pattern in boot cut, which is the only cut and only jean patterns I have tried so far, but I have plans to try out the skinny jeans cut from the same pattern soon. Maybe I'll work on the muslin today. ;)

    There's been a lot of improvement in my homemade jeans since my first pair, but still a few things I could improve. The only things I really messed up on this pair was the butt pockets not being spaced evenly apart and my waistband not being cut long enough, which resulted in some bunching when I sewed it on. I have some a problem with pants not properly holding in my butt-crack and underwear though (TMI? Sorry. :P) so it being a bit tight around the waist is not entirely a bad thing.

   Tomorrow or today I will be shipping out a couple of handmade items I made to participate in a Secret Valentine exchange, so once my recipient receives those you can expect a new blog post!

   Outside of crafting (but still inside my artsier endeavors) I have started taking self portraits again. In November I made it a goal to take one every day of the month. I didn't finish that goal because I ended up feeling very burned out, and it took two months to set up the tripod and load up EOS Utility again, but last week I took my first new one in a while.

   Then a couple days ago I took the ones shared above to show off my creations. Does it say something bad that the only thing I really take photos of anymore is myself? (Well, my cats too, but I don't really put a lot of thought into those shots.) I always veered more towards portraiture but I have been feeling pretty disconnected from people for a while now and that doesn't really fuel the spark I previously had for photographing others, and photography in general actually. I don't really consider any of it a bad thing, I'm pretty introverted and don't have that much of a social drive but it has made my photography a bit more boring. Anyways, that's all I have to share for now!

   I hope everyone is having a wonderful new year!

Friday, January 31, 2014

My Month in Instagram!

   Wow, this month flew by fast! And mine was great, I hope ya'll had a great beginning to the year as well. I spent a great deal of it knitting (mostly knitting gifts for a Secret Valentine that I am running out of time for! Oh no!

   But I finished my first knitting project, a pair of socks, then my second, then third, and I have a few works in progress as well.

   I am really, really looking forward to February, even though I currently have no plans for the month. Just hard not to look forward to it when this month so far has been so great!

   So here are some photos of my past month! Hope you like them! You can follow me on Instagram as well, it's linked in my sidebar.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cunning Socks

      I am super thrilled! I finished my first ever knit project (not the first picked up, just the first finished. ;P), a pair of socks with the colour scheme from Jayne's hat. They took longer than I'd like to admit! The first sock(s) took about two weeks, I ended up pulling out all the stitches of the first one and starting over with a much better sock. Luckily, the second sock didn't even take two days. Hurray!

   They are certainly far from perfect, and you can see where I tied the previously cut (from before I ripped out the stitches) yarn on the first sock a bit, the second sock looks a lot better! Regardless, I love them so much and they are so toasty compared to all my other socks, none of which are knit.

   The pattern for these bad boys are from Knits for Nerds, mine are a size small and are a wee bit big on my feet (size 6, for anyone else cursed with ridiculously small feet), but not so much as to bother me, they are still very wearable! Just maybe not with the tightest of combat boots. ;P

   Has anyone else reading this knit this pattern? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I know I love mine and I've never been more proud of a pair of socks in my life, haha. :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

W.I.P 1/1/2014

     Happy new year! I have a lot of things to look forward to this new year (especially since they are short term. I am terrible at long term plans!), among them being my current works in progress!

      I forgot to add one of those items in the photo above. :( And have no other photos of it yet, but it's not a big deal since it's only a muslin for a pair of boot cut jeans. I am an odd size for clothing in general, mostly so for jeans. I've made a few pairs of jeans so far but none of them fit perfect, so I decided to make a muslin this time to help make that perfect fit as well as to use for a pattern for future jeans. To be fair though, I have literally never had a perfect (or even super great) fitting pair of jeans in my adult life. Store sizing sucks and I'm still learning my way around making them myself.
      I think that's enough of a rant about jeans! More about the items I didn't forget to photograph!!

      I went to Barnes and Nobles in late November and say this 'Knits for Nerds' book. The Firefly themed projects made me want to learn to knit! I had already wanted to a bit because crocheting just doesn't make the style of socks and sweaters I like, it would seem, but this really cemented it for me. I didn't buy the book - yet - but I bought a 'Learn To Knit' kit for ten bucks, which included needles, yarn, and a kind of useless book. But the point is I decided to learn to knit partially due to this book, and I finally started on my first project from it!


     My first pair of socks! More specifically, Cunning Socks. I started these socks earlier this week, I had them listed as projects I wanted to finish in December, but this is the only I started on. I love them so far! I am changing them a little to make them slouchy (just added a couple more stripes on the leg), and I may have to buy more yarn. 

     Before I started the socks I started crocheting a bobbly polka dot scarf. I'm terrible at setting down projects to start new ones. But I'm gonna pick it back up soon because I'm really excited to finish it and I think it will be really cute. It's inspired by this pattern from Mollie Makes, however I didn't really want the pattern they had, I just wanted dots. Less seasonal, more "anytime it's cold enough for a scarf." I love the fur yarn, I bought a different brand than suggesting from Michael's, which was $5 for a skein of about the same yardage instead of $25ish. Much more affordable and it's so nice!

     This next project I started last night, for the second time. I finished it once and ended up pulling out the stitches because it was far too large. I switched to a thinner yarn. I'm pretty excited for this one to finish! It's a relatively fast project, wish it was already done though. Here is the pattern, it's super cute!

     The last item is not much to mention, I received a big set of knitting needles for Christmas and I need a bigger case, so I'm making one. Boring, right? ;P

    Well, that's what I'm looking forward to so far in this New Year. What do you think? Any favourites? What patterns are you excited to conquer this year?

Disqus for F. K. Sew